Subjectivity is the Consciousness

The assessment is a funny game! It is guilty!! The pleasures one! It is a philosophical one. Martin Heidegger states that “as the ego cogito, subjectivity is the consciousness that represents something, relates this representation back to itself, and so gathers with itself” (Heidegger, 2014). The dilemma of if the assessment is the reflection of success or failure is a myth; especially in Arts and Design. Throughout my teaching experience, I came across different methods of markings; some more detailed, e.g. UAL and some more subjective, e.g. AUB. Regardless, there are always ups and downs to consider. The main issue though is not how the marking system works; it is a frequent students’ questioning “why this mark”. The session on assessment helped to understand how different system might work, though it didn’t necessarily solve the issue I concern to the time that one of the colleagues who teaches in France suggested a technique he is using! Such a brilliant idea. He mentioned that they allow their first-year units to be marked by students and use their marking outcome as 10% of the overall assessment. It will enable students to collectively analyse the learning outcomes and reflect their understanding as the teacher and the process of marking. This suggestion was my nemesis in the last couple of weeks. The most significant idea perhaps and why I didn’t come with it 😛
At Arts University Bournemouth this is one of the most significant issues. This technique might allow the students to learn how the marking works. I got the permission to trial the new system in my unit and record the outcome. Hope it works. To this point, I found this the most important lesson I learnt in the PGCAP. It excites me, and I’m confident that students will enjoy it. Let see what is happening. I made up my mind.

Made Up Mind. Getty Image
Made Up Mind. Getty Image

Work Cited: 

Heidegger, M. (2014). Introduction to Metaphysics: Second Edition. New Heaven, USA: Yale University Press.

Where’s Wally! The story of the society not the white tall man with a funny hat

The workshop is designed to develop the awareness of the contemporary sustainable issues by considering different concepts such as social justice, diversity or other cases where we can recognize effective to create awareness while considering sustainable matters.

The question raised when in my storytelling workshops I encounter the students approach in their stories by not considering concepts in which can be contested in different perspectives. The questions they should ask but could not find a response; e.g. why an event is important in the story or why their stories are not relatable to the other people when being discussed. There is no doubt that keeping the focus on one concept is essential, especially when it is about writing a short story! However, understanding the background of events they create are is critical. This debate grabs my attention, and during the PGcap sessions on sustainability, I faced the problem again. The three Pillars Diagram, yet being open to adding more pillars, was a striking point to develop this workshop.

I do believe that cultural learning of Arts is a crucial factor to create better artist! Though, it doesn’t mean that it is possible to teach how to think culturally. Similar to the idea of adding a 4th pillar to the diagram as the culture! All the other pillars (Environment, Economy and Social) are valid points to consider, but they provide the direct information about the situation. On the other hand, the cultural aspect can be viewed as the way we manage to understand the concept! So, it is not possible to add that as an additional pillar. However, in my studies, cultural understanding of the concepts are more informative than any other approach. Regarding the storytelling, this becomes an important element! Many of us are being told that there are no unique ideas anymore!!!!! Such a piece of rubbish (excuse my language). Here I need to refer to Freud:

“It sounds like a fairy-tale, but not only that; this story of what man by his science and practical inventions has achieved on this earth, where he first appeared as a weakly member of the animal kingdom, and on which each individual of his species must ever again appear as a helpless infant… is a direct fulfilment of all, or of most, of the dearest wishes in his fairy-tales. All these possessions he has acquired through culture. Long ago he formed an ideal conception of omnipotence and omniscience which he embodied in his gods. Whatever seemed unattainable to his desires – or forbidden to him – he attributed to these gods. One may say, therefore, that these gods were the ideals of his culture. Now he has himself approached very near to realizing this ideal, he has nearly become a god himself. But only, it is true, in the way that ideals are usually realized in the general experience of humanity. Not completely; in some respects not at all, in others only by halves. Man has become a god by means of artificial limbs, so to speak, quite magnificent when equipped with all his accessory organs; but they do not grow on him and they still give him trouble at times… Future ages will produce further great advances in this realm of culture, probably inconceivable now, and will increase man’s likeness to a god still more.”

Creating a story to tell requires a cultural approach in which you can combine different aspects of Society, Economy and Environment by analysing them through oneself understanding of the issues. This cultural understanding cannot be taught directly though it is possible to debate in order to raise the awareness.  This approach formed my workshop.

The workshop is designed to develop a debate on Equality and Equity, through a session inspired by sustainability. The Students are being asked to produce short stories and a series of characters based on one picture and a piece of music. As they are developing their stories in groups, some questions are being asked to grab their attention on the matter of the equality and equity. In practice, it creates a debate on the subject in which seems irrelevant to sustainability. However, if the discussion is possible to form, the facilitator can refer it back to the sustainable issue and be pointing the relation between equality and sustainability.

The session is designed to challenge the students based on their cultural understanding of the sustainable issue. The aim of this workshop is:

1. To portrait that each story requires being reviewed in different perspectives to make sure it is resistance to the questions we might not face in our cultural understanding of the story.

2. To create a debate that points the relation between the main topic (sustainability) and cultural issues (Equality and Equity)

3. To raise the awareness on the contemporary issues which they can discuss in their stories, even in a minor part.

To have an example of similar discussion, I present the following illustration! Do you know what is this about? (The answer is in comments)


Picture Description:

It is about Equality and Gender Balance in WorkPlace.  Detail from IC4 Design’s poster Finding Her, which highlights the lack of women in male-dominated industries in Egypt. Photograph: IC4 Design for UN Women Egypt.

Lindsey Riley Comment: 

Ah- I didn’t get was the picture was about until I read below! Like the storytelling idea for your workshop.

Best Lindsey